Alaskan Adventures

What do you do when you live far off the beaten path in Alaska and need something from the trading post? What about going to places never seen and getting home again? Or when I was a young man in the early 80’s exploring the arctic looking for surf what did I use to get the job done? In most of these cases it was a Zodiac MK series inflatable boat. From underwater construction in the polar regions to just running supplies or people to and fro the Zodiac MK inflatable boat series (now MILPRO) was the go to work horse.

One of our customers recently called to talk about his mission running adventure tours and operating a 5 star facility where roads don’t exist and I was able to talk him out of a pic and a quick viddy link.

In the viddy above you’ll see a Zodiac MK4 HD rigged with a Yamaha F70 being slung by a HELO at a secret glacial lake. This lake has something to do with our customer’s 5 star resort and the Zodiac MK4 HD plays a vital role there. Considering that the lake is usually locked up with growlers/ice chunks from glacial calving there are not very many boats that can stand up to the constant abuse like a Zodiac MILPRO inflatable boat. The aluminum boats buckle, and the fiberglass boats break, but the Zodiac MILPRO MK4 HD just bounces and slides off the dangerous ice in the water. It’s just another day in an inflatable and experienced Z boat operators just shrug it all off as no big deal.

Getting to and from the beach in the Gulf Of Alaska can be a chore but as Jordan illustrates with his Zodiac MILPRO MK4HD it’s a breeze with inflatable beach rollers. No surf is too hard to reach, no beach too far, no fish too big for what the Zodiac MILPRO MK4HD brings to the table.

Adam setup this package for Jordan, to see what we can do for you give us a call at (503)235-2628 and take your expedition from dream to reality.

Swift Water Rescue Enters The American Vocabulary

The IBC team has long been a provider of training and equipment to the rescue and military communities and continues to do so with pride today. Recently while waiting in a drive thru line I was listening to discussions on the radio of swift water rescue in some of the flooded hurricane areas. The reporter called out swift water rescue and defined it to another speaker during the exchange. Later that evening I again heard swift water rescue come op as a topic on the evening edition of the local news. More and more use of the term just seemed to be popping up all over the various media channels in this latest news cycle.

Let’s face it the news is a business, and it’s their job to engage listeners, viewers, and social media users to sell ad space, but I took no umbrage as the term filtered into the common vocabulary as a benefit.

Essentially it’s this, as weather events, and natural disasters make headlines and primetime broadcasts we’ll be seeing an increase of the use of the term. This makes me happy as a professional inflatable boat jock. Too many local governments wrongly assume that they will never encounter a flooding incident so they don’t incorporate or enact a plan to address it.

Planning for the worst is much ado about nothing to government bean counters who think that rescue budgeting isn’t necessary. Tell that to the person who was rescued from dark cold water by a volunteer or outside agency. Yes weather events happen, and seemingly more frequently than ever before, and the one thing the government is always short of is mission capable boats and trained operators.

Lessons learned from flooding events always surface as a lack of stable craft with little to no draft led to increased casualties. The “It won’t happen to me.” mentality is increasingly proven to be wrong and when things are at their toughest only the toughest will be able to get the job done.

Most swift water rescue teams are only utilized when flooding is the plan of the day, and water likely isn’t swift in most areas unless topography is the dictating factor. This lack of foresight to low land communities with no rapid moving rivers stands in the way of budgeting for an inflatable rescue boat. Clearly as we can all see here in the US and abroad the truth tells a different story when unexpected rains fall.

To me there is nothing more tragic than a preventable loss of life, or when what should have been a rescue mission turns out to be a recovery. Compared to the costs of running a tin jon boat, (something rescuers know to be a hazard by the way), the cost of ownership and maintenance of an inflatable boat is much cheaper. The inflatable boat carries more cargo weight or people, costs less to operate and goes into much shallower water without grounding, even when laden with tons of cargo.

Personally I’ve been on just about every type of water craft available from submarines, to  Zodiacs, to a hovercraft, landing craft, dive boats etc. and the one boat that ticks the boxes off and saves more precious cargo is the Zodiac MILPRO inflatable boat. Whether you completed missions like me in the military or as a civilian, the Zodiac MILPRO has become ubiquitous in the rescue community. So why are we always in short supply when disaster hits?

Ask your local government officials this question. Too often the “Pros” are basing their whole mission load out off of their experience as a recreational fisherman in a tin or fiberglass boat, something that is woefully in adequate for the flooding mission or swift water mission profile. Try getting a big heavy tin boat launched into a flood zone where the gradient is varied and uncommon obstructions like fences and fire hydrants are the norm. All of the fishing experience in the world goes out the window and operators begin to realize just how bad that ultra expensive tin rescue boat was. Costs not in dollars but in lives are what become the tangible data metric. Trust me that government bean counter isn’t getting his or her feet wet, rendering crucial first aid or delivering supplies to cut of populations.

As we assimilate the term “Swift Water Rescue” into the common vocabulary we should be thinking on how those assets serve a bigger mission profile to save more lives. If your community is too small to field a proper swift water team in addition to their current department responsibilities take charge and hold a fund raising event to facilitate one. The life you save might be your own.

To speak with one of our qualified professionals regarding your swift water or flood rescue needs simply pick up the phone and call  (503)235-2628 don’t wait until it becomes a recovery mission.

Zodiac MILPRO SRMN 550 Custom Survey Package

What do you get when you put a Zodiac MILPRO SRMN 550 together with IBC’s Special Boats Division?

You get a mission capable boat that looks into the future of bathymetrics !

When the mission requires a nimble and fast boat with unbeatable stability to profile what’s under the surface you call IBC and get the ball rolling. IBC’s Special Boats Division and MILPRO lead Adam took the reigns to accomplish a customer’s mission on the water. The mission basics required a boat that was able to precisely loiter on station to get data from the undersea gradient and yet be able to very quickly maneuver to clear a shipping lane.

The Zodiac MILPRO SRMN 550 hull was selected as the platform of choice and an offshore style double motor bracket was custom fabricated and installed allowing the use of twin Yamaha 40Hp outboards.

A custom aluminum bolster and console with equipment racks and accessory tray were added to accommodate the electronics package and computers necessary to accomplish the mission. IBC also fabricated a t-top with a radar and AIS system integrated into the nav console electronics. Ship comms were patched in and outboard data and nav data also integrated into one of several smart displays keeping operations and navigation in one centralized spot.

Forward array handling was fabricated and installed to accommodate the customer’s apparatus not unlike some EOD apparatus systems integrated at our Special Boats Division shop for special operations.

Intrinsically safe and redundant systems were the norm on this highly sophisticated system integration package that unfortunately we cannot show in this format.

All in all another fun build by the Special Boats kids here at the shop for one of our Special Projects customers.

Do you have a special need or project that you’d like to discuss with IBC?

Give us a call (503)235-2629 and get read in to what’s possible.

 

A New Post And Some News

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity and long hot days. To the people who have been asking about blog posts I do apologize, I’ve been busy servicing customers around the World continuously.

Ok news time!

The new Zodiac open series of ribs has been going like mad and IBC even went to test the new boats with Zodiac prior to new models being released in the US market. We currently have one Open 7 left and are back ordered on several of the other models.

IBC’s MILPRO Division has been mad at work building out some very special boats for missions upcoming and ongoing throughout the big blue marble. We’ll have a few pics to share soon but most of our projects aren’t viewable due to operational security concerns.

The Special Boats Division has been pushing out special commando packages at a dizzying rate. Models equipped for skinny and swift moving water, steering helm packages, tiller models, dive boats, filming platforms etc. have been the norm everyday. Fisherman and outdoor sportsmen have been catching on to the fact that they can simply do more in a Bombard Commando.

In other news aluminum rib manufacturers have been going thru their inevitable growing pains again. Luckily Zodiac has responded and introduced aluminum ribs to the market once more helping heal the hurt. Pains caused by the current offerings of other supposed expert manufacturers mean I field a great many calls for boats I don’t sell. Those of you old enough to remember boating in the 80s will remember just how many of these Chinese boat brands there were back then. The big push to tin in the 90’s and the multitude of aluminum hulled inflatable boats that persisted into the new millennium disappeared altogether. Once good boats fell to the push to make cheaper and cheaper goods at the cost of quality. Zodiac stopped making aluminum ribs because they couldn’t compete with the Chinese labor costs in Canada or France and the tin market collapsed due to the shoddy off brand product.

People wanted Zodiac quality, but struck off to competitors trying to save a few bucks, much like what is happening in the current market. If you’ve been following our site you’ll notice all the other tin boat makers are gone at this point. Makers such as Highfield will no longer be supported at IBC for warranties or broken/missing parts. You will need to contact Highfield or your other manufacturer directly for further support.

Zodiac aluminum hulled ribs will always be supported, they are Zodiacs after all and benefit from the World’s largest dealer network. Our site isn’t showing Zodiac aluminum hulled ribs currently, we’ve sold out of the Zodiac aluminum ribs until the next season from our initial January offering. As anticipated the Zodiac product out performed all the others in the field in cost VS capability/quality. No surprises there!

One trend that has been gaining momentum is the push for customers to get genuine French Zodiac models such as the Zodiac Cadet Fastroller series. The Zodiac Cadet Fastroller series of inflatable boats are Thermo-bonded™ in the French factory that gave birth to the Thermo-bonding™ technology. Quality from the very start in it’s selection of Strongan Duotex™ fabric and use of the French technique that eliminates glue altogether makes one of the lightest and most durable boats available anywhere by anyone. Other French boats like the Classic series, the Bombard Commando series and the Futura series have dominated the market with quality where the other manufacturers have chosen quantity and free shipping instead of making a good product.

To go into more detail about Zodiac’s Thermo-bonding™ process would take a tome and a PhD in material science to understand, however we can be brief yet informative. As with all things sold today the Chinese have copied some aspects of the technology and rebranded it as heat welding to avoid litigation. Let’s be clear there is a difference no matter how slick the media presentation is from brand X the customer is being duped. The heat welding process is a good 20 years behind the Thermo-bonding process originally deployed in 1977 from Zodiac’s Engineering Dept.

Yes the future is looking bright for quality French, US, and Canadian craftsmanship. In this saturated knockoff internet marketplace where ultra cheap is the norm the consumer is easily tricked into buying garbage by the term “free shipping”. What the informed customer should know is “free shipping” equates to landfill disaster, or now the more news worthy “Pacific Garbage Patch”. Zodiac, Avon, and Bombard have always been stewards of the environment, isn’t it about time we all did our part?

More blog posts to come soon, pictures, videos and more! As soon as We get some free time from fielding all of these non-stop calls for products we don’t or won’t sell from understandably upset customers. Remember if it seems too good to be true, it is.

What Can You Do With A Zodiac?

I get this question a lot when I’m out in the regular world talking to regular people,  What can you do in a Zodiac?”.

The answer is “What can’t you do!”.

Yes we service what we sell, and we service other brands too, maybe more of the latter. Often times IBC is tasked with outfitting something special on a military or professional RHIB/RIB or rigging a complete custom package. We kind of like doing the impossible for operators in harm’s way if we can make it just a bit easier for them or to give them an advantage in an already dangerous mission profile.

Sometimes the mission is life saving or marine mammals, or marine biology, and off the shelf solutions just don’t exist for the particular application. Adam is the go to guy for MILPRO service and boat setups. When things require the best IBC delivers with the best MILPRO offerings available in the sector.

Need something not off the shelf or custom for your command? Give Adam a call to see how IBC can help you today. (503)235-2628

 

 

River Huggers Press Day with Portland’s Mayor Wheeler and IBC

Monday started early for IBC as we made ready and launched at 4:00 am to support the Portland River Huggers swim across the Willamette River. Portland’s very own Mayor Ted Wheeler joined in the swim and several news teams were there to cover it from all angles, our job was easy, we just piloted the boat. 🙂 IBC’s Mike was on station to take out the media and provide safety and rescue services as needed with the 40 Hp rigged Zodiac Bombard C4R Commando.

Thankfully there were no casualties and everyone had the endurance to make the swim under their own steam. Mike (our intrepid adventurer) pretty much insists on using the Zodiac Bombard Commando platform as his vessel of choice in marine operations. Mike keeps his boat open and mission configurable to quickly adapt to conditions and the ever changing marinescape as it unfolds.

IBC provided a platform for the various news channels to film and report on the events as they unfolded live on the water. Mike grabbed a couple of selfies with the news to prove to the boss he wasn’t sleeping in which are featured below. To view the news articles about the Willamette River click the links provided.

KOIN TV Article

KPTV TV Article

River Huggers Out On The Willamette For The Summer

To find out more about inflatable boats call (503)235-2628 and ask for Adam or visit IBC online via their website inflatableboats.com

Military and Profession users please call (503)235-2628 to discuss your mission profile or optempo.

 

Fishing From An Inflatable Boat? Say What!

It happens at every NW Sportsman Show, every year without fail. People walking by the IBC booth will say non-sense like “Those boats pop easily.”, or “You can’t fish from a Zodiac.”. Self proclaimed subject matter experts about all things boating and outdoors. HA!  It doesn’t really bother me as most people saying that obviously have no clue about boats, the outdoors, hunting or fishing. To look at some of the “experts” I have to wonder how they made it that far down the aisle without falling over because clearly they are more of an expert on eating snacks and sitting on the couch.

Almost all of the Alaskan bush residents stop by the booth and tell tales of their Zodiacs and where they take them, and often they question why there are so many tin boats here in the NW Oregon/Washington area. That in it’s self is an anomaly, the Portland Boat Show is considered the biggest aluminum boat show in the world now. Lots of swagger and braggadocio permeates the NW Sportsman Show and tin talk is right up there at the top with terrible elk calls echoing thru the catherdral like ceilings of the Portland Expo Center. Sometimes I want to play videos of all the rescues of tin boats that occur every year, all conducted by Zodiacs. This wouldn’t prove anything as the paradigm is already in place for the tin men.

Considering that most tinneys sit in a driveway for 360 days of the year until the parade at buoy 10 time is upon us. Most tin owners don’t advance their seamanship other than cracking a beer on a hog line, which is a problem. Magazine articles and T.V. shows proclaim the buoy 10 fishery as epic and score of boats and tourists descend like lemmings all vying for their chance at a king or coho. Guys talk smack at the ramp when we put out, and are still there when we return limits caught. Offhanded remarks like “Did you get a leak?” are fodder for misinformed sportsmen trying to look cool while struggling to launch their boats. When these same people see our kills bags busting at the seams they change their tune. The fish checkers just know we have fish, they always come over to eagerly chat and document the easy catch in our boat.

Customers sending their pics of brown bear and moose in a tiny inflatable boat making their way home are treats to us when we see them. So much of the world was discovered in a Zodiac that it makes you wonder where the disconnect occurs. If you are looking for something that doesn’t require a mortgage payment, floats more cargo in less water, uses less motor and therefore less fuel you should be looking at an inflatable boat. Heck don’t take our word for it, here’s some customer pics of people going their own way and doing rather than talking.

If you have questions about an inflatable boat call Mike or Adam (503)235-2628 and see what our years of experience on all types of boats from the arctic to the antarctic and points in between can do for you.

If you’re an online shopper check out our secure shopping site at www.inflatableboats.com

Boat Show Special Pricing

IBC is back from our last big show and we’re getting ready for the season opener. Special Boat Show Pricing is going to expire soon so don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. As always IBC is there to help you get on the water with the right boat at the right price.

To order your new dinghy, adventure boat, rescue boat, professional or military boat call one of friendly sales staff at (503)235-2628 today.

IBC is a 5 Star Gold Rated Yamaha Service Center, as well as a certified Zodiac Repair Facility, and MILPRO Elite Dealer/Service Center. IBC is uniquely qualified to address your inflatable boat needs and is Zodiac’s Senior Dealer in this corner of the world. Let our decades of experience help with your next undertaking whether it’s in the high polar latitudes or even the inland waterways of our nations’ heartland.

NW Sportsman’s Show

Well the Portland Boat Show and the Seattle Boat Show have ended and now we’re getting ready to go to the NW Sportsman’s Show . If you missed your chance to see the Zodiac Open 7 in Seattle we’ll have it installed in our Portland showroom soon. Adam & Mike will be on hand to offer expert advice on military, commercial and recreational inflatable boats and RIBs plus we’ll be introducing our Zodiac Bombard C5 Commando Sport Jet package.

If you are a serious adventurer, hunter, fisherman or just interested in an awesome boat stop by our booth and see what we can do for you. The NW Sportsman’s Show can be an overwhelming experience, better fasten a seat belt on your brain and stop by our booth #1143 or have your mind blown with the C5 Sport Jet Pack.

This boat does it all and has been in development ever since our humble beginnings with Capt. Ron on the world racing circuit. Our experience in the sailing, professional, military, yachting, and outdoor sports has made it easy for the beginner or pro alike to get the right boat for their activity and budget. What sets IBC apart from others in the game is we practice what we preach, we practice a lot actually. Every chance we get we’re out on the water training, playing, fishing, and evaluating the experience with a critical eye to do it better.

What can I say we love what we do!

Come and see for yourself, talk with Adam and Mike about your next adventure.

Can’t make the show?

Give us a call (503)235-2628

Portland Boat Show 2018 Day Two

It’s the start of day two at The Portland Boat Show and usually on day two we post a few pics.

Sure it’s better to see the boats in person, but not all of you can make it to The Portland Boat Show and it’s this reason we put up the galleries. Videos will be forthcoming and added to the blog area so check back often for the full high def experience. If you are going to the Seattle Boat Show you will still have a chance to see the premier of Zodiac’s Open 7 RIB in the US. To say that Zodiac has put other makers on notice would be an under statement! The Zodiac Open 7 has something for everyone including the speed demon and the casual boater alike. Looking towards the future and the ever changing role a boat has in it’s lifetime Zodiac has included expansion capabilities that allow the user to add or subtract seating and accessories with ease. This sort of functionality or as we say in the military segment “mission configurability” makes the Open 7 peerless in the recreational market. Advanced materials and manufacturing techniques ensure that the Zodiac Open 7 will never be outdated and removable/replaceable tubes in commercial grade mean it will always look it’s best and perform like a stallion.

We are closing up our Portland location early for the duration of the Portland Boat Show so please call to see if we will be there if you want to visit the showroom. (503)235-2628.